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New A&E Consultants for West Suffolk Hospital

21 February 2005

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds has welcomed two new A&E Consultants.

Andrew Giles and Andrew Haig were recruited from Australia under a Department of Health programme and bring with them a wealth of expertise from working in large inner city A&E departments. Australia is one of the few countries in the world that have a formal Emergency Medicine training programme.

The Department of Health’s International Fellowship programme offers qualified medical specialists from outside the UK opportunities to undertake two-years working as consultants in the NHS.

The Trust produced a DVD and video to promote the hospital to potential international recruits.

Andrew Giles will be with the Trust for 18 months and Andrew Haig two years.

Andrew Giles came to Bury St Edmunds five weeks ago from the Royal Adelaide Hospital where he was an A&E Consultant for three years. He started his career working as a GP in a remote part of Australia for five years before undertaking a number of surgical jobs, then starting his training in emergency medicine. He became Director of the Emergency Department at St Andrew’s private hospital in Adelaide and then a Consultant at the Royal Adelaide where he had been for the last three years.

He lives in Bury St Edmunds with his wife and five children. He has another son who has remained behind in Australia.

He said:  "The people here at the hospital are very welcoming and very enthusiastic.

"Life in inner city Emergency Departments in Australia is very different to life here at an A&E in Bury St Edmunds. In Australia we provide a more senior level of cover, and consultants start much earlier in the day, and finish work often in the small hours. Our hospitals are very busy as they are major trauma centres and referral centres for many specialties. It is a little bit like ER where emergency medicine is a far more high profile specialty. We also see many more serious injuries and conditions than you do here. Here at West Suffolk we work mainly daytime hours and are on-call overnight. Our wives certainly like seeing us at home for dinner."

Andrew Haig joined West Suffolk Hospital from the Royal Perth Hospital two months ago but he was born in the UK.

He started his medical career at an undergraduate trainee at Westminster Hospital in London and then became Senior House Officer in Plymouth. Andrew left Britain in 1991 to live in Auckland, New Zealand, and then moved to Australia and never came back. He has been an A&E Consultant at the Royal Perth Hospital for four years.

Andrew is now living in Walsham le Willows with his wife and four children.

He said: "We chose Bury St Edmunds because it is a lovely market town and Suffolk is very pleasant area.

"It’s a big adventure for our families to come and experience life living in Europe. My son is already calling soccer football and our kids have never seen snow so when it came down a couple of weeks back they were very excited."



West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust